Awakening youth power was the aim of a state level youth convention organised by Ramakrishna Mission, reports Dilip Guha

Whether they are agricultural scientists striving to ensure food for all or sportspersons earning laurels globally, they have all faced challenges that life threw at them. Elaborating upon how they surmounted these challenges, luminaries from various walks of life told a State Level Youth Convention how the message of Swami Vivekananda of universal brotherhood, strength, character building and social service was relevant to the modern youth. 

 The convention, held from 18-20 October to commemorate the 150th Birth Anniversary Celebrations of Swami Vivekananda, organised by the Capital&’s Ramakrishna Mission in collaboration with Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), saw school and colleges students in the age group 16-30 years actively participate in the interactive sessions. 

 Speaking at the opening session, former IPS officer Kiran Bedi expressed her concern about masses still living below the poverty line. She said India&’s young population had immense potential talent that could be brought out to meet today&’s challenges. Bedi stressed that Swami Vivekananda constantly strived to show the youth the power of being an individual with a strong frame of mind, one that is decisive and persuasive and to be focused, never letting go of one&’s sight from the goal. 

 Guest of honour, E Sreedharan, former managing director of DMRC, narrated the success story of Delhi Metro. He briefly explained how after making improvement in work culture through punctuality, integrity, professional commitment, social responsibility and accountability it become the success mantra for Delhi Metro rail project. He concluded the session saying, “Values and culture which Swami Vivekananda has expounded to this county, which he has exhorted on young generation if always carry and worshiped I think Delhi Metro can be a very fine example to you all”. 

In his inaugural address, Swami Atmapriyananda, vice-chancellor, Vivekananda University, Belur, West Bengal, recalled how thousand years ago consciousness was taught in Vedic schools. He spoke of the need to render and keep the spirits of Vivekananda&’s teachings alive. Echoeing Kiran Bedi, former captain of Indian cricket team Bishan Singh Bedi called for an education that moulded one&’s character and increased strength of mind. 

He also elaborated on how success is defined, what “self-esteem” is and how to get more out of it. The loudest cheers from the young and eager audience were reserved for Arunima Sinha, the world&’s first woman amputee to climb Mt Everest. 

Speaking about the impact of Swamiji’s teachings Jyoti Yadav of Lady Sri Ram College said “In 2012 my visit to Swami Vivekanada memorial at Kannyakumari was a turning point in my life. Since then I have been a follower of Swamiji, his ideology and rational thinking.” 

Another delegate, a mechanical engineering student, Vishal Singh said this type of convention is very useful, he said “We got a chance to interact with spiritual, intellectual giants and also philanthropists from different parts of India.”